Adobe Creative Cloud

The Technological Artistry of Obscura Digital

This creative technology studio designs high-impact displays and improves software management with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

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Investing in multidimensional experiences

Combining innovative technology with unique creative expression, Obscura Digital designs and develops immersive and interactive experiences for events worldwide. Unlike traditional digital agencies that focus on works for print or screen, Obscura specializes in interactive installations, engaging stage shows, and mapping video that turns nearly any surface—from an outdoor sculpture to an entire building—into a video screen.

“We focus on nontraditional mediums and work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds: musicians, artists, and technicians,” says Barry Threw, director of software at Obscura Digital.

For the grand re-opening of the San Francisco Exploratorium, a unique museum dedicated to science, art, and human perception, Obscura manufactured a series of miniature replicas of the building’s façade to capture unique video, including fluid dynamics, microorganisms, and living systems in high-definition, time-lapse video. At the opening, Obscura seamlessly mapped the video onto the front of the building.

The grand re-opening event for San Francisco's Exploratorium.

The grand re-opening event for San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

“When we work with such large canvases, we need to start with ultra-high resolution images,” notes Threw. “Adobe creative software is not only an industry standard, it efficiently handles high-resolution outputs when other software can’t.”

Obscura used Adobe Premiere Pro to create and quickly edit proxy footage, and switched to Adobe After Effects for color correction, transitional moments, speed ramping, and master outputs. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop were used for template creation and image cleanup, while Adobe Bridge assisted with overall file management and metadata annotation.

Delivering agility

Obscura, part of the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and an Adobe agency partner, recently purchased Creative Cloud for teams through Adobe.com. “We’ll often bring someone in on short notice to create or revise assets as client specifications shift,” says Threw. “With access to the full collection of creative apps, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams supports greater scalability and enables us to change creative direction or take work wherever it needs to go—something we couldn’t do as easily before and respond to client needs almost instantly, right in the field.”

Obscura Digital's mapped architectural projection stage set for the Beats Antique “A Thousand Faces."

Obscura Digital’s mapped architectural projection is part of a stage set for the Beats Antique “A Thousand Faces” tour.

Centralizing license management simplifies administration, making it easy for Obscura to redistribute licenses as they are needed for various projects. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, we can manage licenses very easily through the Admin Console,” says Vlad Spears, a technologist at Obscura Digital. “We always know who has what software, so we can adjust assignments as needed across project teams and contractors.”

Creative Cloud for teams also puts users in charge of software updates and installations, further reducing the workload for IT. Since teams often work in the field to help bring exhibit installations to life, this easy-to-manage self-service model enables users to add secondary installations of the Creative Cloud apps to home computers or laptops.

Obscura Digital's elaborate projections illuminate the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Obscura Digital’s elaborate projections illuminate the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

“If someone is working on the road and suddenly realizes that they need another application, they can use their existing Creative Cloud membership to install the applications themselves without IT scrambling to provide them additional installers or serial numbers,” says Spears. “The flexibility we have in managing licenses now with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is light years better than what we were doing before.” Obscura plans to expand use of Creative Cloud for teams with more licenses purchased through Adobe.com.

“Our purchase of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams via Adobe.com was extremely smooth,” says Spears. “And, by working with our annual membership on a monthly basis, our finance group has a much easier time forecasting costs and building budgets. We are thrilled to be on this new path with Adobe.”

Read the Obscura Digital case study.

Digital Imaging, Member Stories, Video Editing